Delaware targeted surf fishing enforcement at two coastal state parks

FENWICK ISLAND – On Saturday, June 15, and Sunday, June 16, DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation’s Natural Resource Police Rangers conducted a targeted enforcement operation for compliance with Delaware’s surf fishing regulations at surf fishing beaches and surf crossings at Fenwick Island and Cape Henlopen State Parks. The operation was in response to complaints of surf-fishers failing to abide by regulations, particularly the “actively engaged” rule for fishing from the beach.

“We are continuing to concentrate on compliance with state parks’ surf fishing rules and regulations as an enforcement priority,” said DNREC Division of Parks & Recreation Director Ray Bivens, who joined DNREC Park Rangers in the enforcement operation. “While we invite properly-licensed anglers to enjoy surf fishing on our state park beaches, we will work to ensure that they are actively engaged in surf fishing and abiding by the rules.”

On Saturday, Parks Rangers, along with officers from DNREC’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, checked every vehicle on the surf-fishing beach at Fenwick Island State Park, to ensure at least one occupant was actively engaged in surf fishing. The “actively-engaged” check resulted in 24 citations and warnings for various violations of surf fishing regulations, including anglers not possessing required fishing and vehicle equipment.

On Saturday and Sunday, Park Rangers, assisted by Park Watch volunteers, conducted four surf fishing compliance checks at surf crossings within Cape Henlopen and Fenwick Island State Parks. More than 300 vehicles were checked.

Park Rangers remind surf-fishing permit holders that all individuals who drive on designated surf fishing beaches must possess a valid surf fishing vehicle permit; must be actively engaged in surf fishing; must possess required surf fishing vehicle equipment, including a jack, shovel, low-pressure tire gauge, board, and tow strap; and also must possess proper saltwater fishing tackle.